Wild Wonderful Rocky/Rooty West Virginia

It has been a few years since I rode a mountain bike down in West Virginia. I used to go quite a bit back in the day. But as other destinations moved ahead in the plans, it has been a while until last weekend. Our fearless leader, Mike Connors, said a few weeks back, ” Let’s go ride down in Davis.” I said great idea and off we went with 7 other MTB fanatics who were like minded. IMG_0958

I thought I would up the ante a bit by texting Sue HaywoodIMG_0964 and asking her to lead our group of aging athletes. Sue has quite a reputation as a world class mountain bike racer and currently is retired from World Cup racing. However, she runs clinics and workshops and is still very much active in the mountain bike community.Sue has relocated to her home town of Davis, and man can she ride. She gave us all we could handle. 17786_10151858587474203_1524945910_n
One interesting thing about riding with a person of her skill level is seeing just how fit she is and how she effortlessly rides over the most challenging roots and rocks. If you can ride in West Virginia, you can ride anywhere- “BELIEVE ME.” In our case, there was a lot of riding but there was a lot of running and walking too. That is the thing that struck me the most was once I was on those trails again, I remembered just how hard they were. And, we are older now and the challenge is even more acute. I remarked to Syed Hyder, my physician who was on the ride, that I was fine for about the first hour and then I started to get tired and every little thing had a tendency to knock me off balance. He agreed after we bumped into each other a few times. Good thing the doc was along for the ride. There are no letups or coasting on those trails and the challenge of a three hour ride with a world class guide was evident to all of us. The curious thing about aging is the recovery time is not what it used to be. After the first ride, we plopped ourselves down in our chairs in a field by Sue’s house and relaxed with the obligatory beer. But the enthusiasm on the morning of the next day was waning as we licked our wounds from the first day of hard riding in West Virginia.

To digress for a moment, I would like to say that Davis had not changed all that much and the quaint little town in the middle of the Monongahela National Forest should be on everyone’s bucket list. Blackwater Bikes, Hellbender Burritos, and the famous Sirianni’s Cafe are all obligatory stops for the visit and just walking around town is a treat. Things are a lot slower in Davis but in my mind, that is a good thing. The residents enjoy life in the Canaan Valley and look forward to each season of riding and cross country skiing at the Whitegrass Touring Center.

Now back to the torture. The second day, we rode the famous trails leading to the Moon Rocks. IMG_0993 This granite outcropping is famous in the lore of the Blackwater 100 motorcycle races and also a famous landmark in the now defunct 24 Hour mountain bike races held in Davis. I had not ridden this trail in 23 years and the challenge of the Moon Rocks has not changed in all those years. Fred Fischer and John McWilliams were the only two of our group to make it to the top without stopping which was quite a challenge. We all remarked how tough this section was and as the elder statesmen of the group, I was tarred and feathered by the Moon Rocks. If the rocks could chuckle, they would have as we all left for the trail ahead. Fortunately I regained my mojo following Ken McFarland and Jeff Balicki on his most beautiful Scot Genius bike which he rode like a champion. My good friend Pete Hilton and I took turns laughing at the difficulty of the riding but he kept me motivated by his smooth riding and friendly banter. Quiet Pete!!!

To digress for a second moment, we took in the Brew Skies Festival while we were there. Evenings were spent on the lawn in front of the Timberline Ski Area as we listened to local and national bands playing various forms of country rock with a bluegrass bent. Food tents were also in abundance with some of the local restaurants and breweries hosting the food and drinks. We were not disappointed as the mountain state has some pretty impressive lineups of craft beers and local cuisine highlighted by local fruits, meats and vegetables.

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I am trying to avoid the narrative here, but the last day started with rain. The sunshine that we enjoyed for the first two days was most welcomed because I had never seen the sun in any of my previous outings to the Canaan Valley or anywhere in the mountain state. Most of the races I had done or outings that we participated in, were soaked with biblical downpours. So to have two straight days of sun for me was a welcome relief. However, the last day reminded me of days past and several of us passed but Mike, Pete Hilton, Fred, and Dr. Sy were the tough guys and rode Big Bear Trails up near Morgantown on the way home.

I suppose the point of all of this, aside from a narrative trip report, is that it is important to keep challenging yourself no matter how old you are. If you can stay in relatively good shape, you can enjoy even the toughest challenges like the trails in West Virginia. I have too many friends who have thrown in the towel but not my crew. These guys are enthusiastic riders who defy the age factor and the odds and keep riding the roots and the rocks. Take a page from their book. Even the fast guys like Dave Gault and Eric Seamon(still in his 40s- he doesn’t count) were challenged. But the key is to just “keep riding” like Scot Nichol of Ibis Bikes always says. He never thinks he is 62. He just keeps on riding. Thanks for reading and for sure…….head to Wild, Wonderful West Virginia.

Single File……………..who is that talking?

We recently returned from the Jersey Shore where we annually visit the nuns who are in residence at their retreat house at Nun’s Beach. The retreat house is run by the Sisters of the Immaculate Heart of Mary in Immaculata, Pa. This location is also the site of the east coast’s most famous surf contest run by the nuns. We always pick up the latest T-Shirt and hats to support the cause and it always takes me back to my days in the Catholic education system. IMG_0952

First of all I want to preface this by saying that the best teacher I ever had was Sister Judith of the Vincentian Sisters of Charity who taught me phonics in the first grade. Her work with me made me appreciate the English language by enhancing my reading skills. However, the descriptor of the Sisters of Charity was a bit lost on me at times when I had to stand in the wastebasket and face the corner because I was talking in class. The standard line in St. Sebastian Grade School was, ” Who is that talking?” And when we moved anywhere it was always single file. My dad provided brass rulers to the nuns that were a gift from my grandfather who was in the novelty business. They were used on my knuckles many times and if I “juked” it meant another rap on the knuckles. The Sisters of Charity was a bit of a misnomer. b6126223d8712ae0b20f38d6477c4b0a

Moving forward to the second grade, I made my first confession. I was a bit intimidated by the whole process and when the sliding door came open as I was greeted in the confessional by our new pastor, Father Getty, I peed my pants. It was a bit uncomfortable most of the day but it was not an unusual thing in Catholic grade school. We had a girl who sat right in front of me who peed at the same time every day about 3:00 P.M. and the floor was slanted. I yelled out, ” Here comes Bernadette again” We all raised out feet and I was back in the wastebasket. IMG_0951

The crowning achievement of my confession days was in the 8th grade when Father Fay jokingly asked if ” this was Patrick McCloskey” in the confessional. I was telling him that I committed a sacrilege and he asked if it was me. Of course I lied and said “no” and we both laughed and he gave me my penance and told me to get lost.

As my memory drifted forward at the beach, I thought about my days at North Catholic High School on Troy Hill in Pittsburgh. We were taught in an all boys environment by the Brothers of the Society of Mary. WYD13_D8_'DSC_1539

Now coming from a suburban atmosphere to meeting kids from the inner city, my first day was a bit traumatic when a freshman with a 5 o’clock shadow told me he wanted to hang my flag bell bottoms up on the pole in front of the school. Fortunately I had some upper classmen friends who came to my aid and told the man/child to back off. Disputes were an interesting thing at North when the rumors spread like wildfire that there was going to be a fight after school. We all missed our bus and congregated at Cowley or Gardner Field to watch the melee which often resulted in some serious carnage. One guy took a chunk out of another guys ear and out came the brothers to the field. They had no issues rapping us on the head and telling us to get back to the building. One of our knuckleheads says to one of the brothers that he would sue him. The brother said, ” Go ahead.I took a vow of poverty” and rapped the kid in the head again.

Our vice principal was an ex- Golden Gloves boxer who routinely offered to put the gloves on to any senior willing to take him on in a dispute. Not many takers in those days in light of the reputation of Brother Ray. This guy must have had a clone because every time we got in trouble in the class, we saw Brother Ray outside the window beckoning us to come out with his finger. He would twist our sideburns and admonish us and wipe his hands on our shirt, rap us in the head, and tell us to behave in class. IMG_0950

Sitting on the beach, I had my final vision of graduation, spring-1972. We all were on the stage to receive our diplomas and my dad remarked to me later that it was amazing to see the amount of cigarette smoke drifting up towards the rafters on that stage. Guys smoking during the mass and the ceremony was the final insult to the Marian community but not without penalty.

Discipline was first and foremost the hallmark of Catholic education in those days and a lot of the tactics used by the nuns and the brothers could not be employed today. Parents are very protective of their little Beaufords and Sallys and would never tolerate the capital punishment of the Sisters of Charity or the Marianist Brothers. However, our parents were from a different era and what we got in school often time was doubled at home. But if you took a survey today of those of us who were educated in the Catholic system, you would find that we are no worse for the wear and that the discipline served us well. Sister Judith’s phonics still is in use today and my last typing class at North (taught by the infamous Brother Ray) still is a most valuable tool- some 44 years later.

Laughing in my chair after visiting Nun’s Beach, my afternoon was amusing. My wife asked me what I was laughing about and I remarked ” a future blog post.” “Single File Mr. McCloskey” Thanks for reading.

The Will to Win

What is it about the Olympics that glues us to the TV every four years? Is it the pageantry of the opening ceremonies? Is it the personal stories of the athletes that make them compelling in our living rooms? Is it the exotic venues that the IOC selects every four years? Perhaps as ABC once stated, is it ” The thrill of victory and the agony of defeat.” For me, it is all of the above and I must admit that I am addicted to the Olympics. download

Even though the commentary and interviews might be lacking from the color people at NBC, the stories are what interest me. The personal sacrifice of the athletes to get to this point in their career. The missed social lives, the early morning training and dedication to compete. These are the stories that make me an Olympic fan. Last night I watched the daughter of two friends of mine compete in the women’s freestyle relay. Allison Schmitt was a young girl when she left Pittsburgh due to her father Ralph’s new job with Ford in Michigan. We miss Gail and Ralph at North Park where we all were part of Hot Harry’s North Park Runners. But all of us North Parkers were glued to the set to see the gold medal gleaming from her neck last night at the awards ceremony. Aside from her record of 3 golds, 1 silver, and 1 bronze in the London Games, Allison won her second medal of these Rio games with three other equally talented ladies bringing it home for the US. Impressive to me was the fact that during the presentation ceremony, they all sang the National Anthem. What an inspiring moment and what a picture of dedicated young ladies thrilled with victory and proud of their country. MTZSPDEC77XA8WFS_768x432

Equally impressive to me at the Olympics is the jubilation of the athletes who compete. They might not win a medal but the joy on their faces as they complete their events and the camaraderie between them at the conclusion is exemplary of the Olympic spirit. Edith Thys Morgan, who has a really good blog on ski racing called RacerEX, says it best when she says that when you compete in the Olympics, you are forever an Olympian. She should know, she competed as a US Ski Team member at the Calgary Games. It is akin to the Marines who say, you are a Marine, not a former Marine. You are an Olympian for life. I feel for the folks who were not able to go. My friend Mac Martin who was a national class road cycling competitor was not able to go to Moscow because of the Jimmy Carter boycott. No athlete should be denied their Olympic opportunity because of politics. Sue Haywood was denied at the Athens Games in Women’s Mountain Biking because of a scoring mistake by the governing body of US Cycling. A terrible tragedy that can never be rectified. As an aging weekend warrior athlete, I have so much respect for Olympic caliber athletes because in my own small way, I can appreciate the dedication, the pain and suffering and the joy of competing. The other remarkable thing about the athletes is their normal girl/boy next door attitude during the interviews. They are people just like you and me, as I learned when I met Joan Benoit Samuelson years ago at the Boston Marathon. You could not meet a more unassuming athlete than Joan. Her victory in the inaugural Women’s Olympic Marathon was indeed impressive but her humble attitude was the most impressive to me. maine-joan-benoit-samuelson

I had the opportunity to attend the Winter Games in Lake Placid back in 1980. I had the good fortune of receiving 900 dollars face value of tickets from my cousin Bill Carroll who worked for Coke at the time. The Durfees and I saw a lot of events that year and as a hopeless romantic, I was impressed with the atmosphere of the Olympics and the beauty of the High Peaks region in the Adirondacks. As we stood in line to get the bus into the village from the parking lot one day, it was wicked cold. But all I could think about was being at the Olympics as I remarked how beautiful the Olympic flame was with the peaks in the background. The guy behind me remarked that he wanted to ” sit his a#$ in that flame right now” and kind of burst my bubble of enjoyment. But we all laughed as we boarded the bus, freezing to death but excited to spend another day at the venues. I saw Eric Heiden win all of his golds in speed skating and noted the Russians who stood in awe of this amazing American athlete resplendent in his gold speed suit. 1081918_10_147x110

So, in the midst of all the political turmoil going on in the country and the world right now, it is relieving to me to be able to turn off the news and tune in to NBC to once again view the events of the Rio Olympics. The world takes a break for two weeks as the athletes and the world come together to celebrate the Olympic spirit. From the march of the refugee team to a standing ovation, to the excellence of our ladies gymnastics team( arguably the best ever), to Melo and his record scoring in men’s basketball without a jaded bone in his body appreciating representing his country, to the closing ceremonies, the Olympics are just so cool. Tune in if you have not already. Thanks for reading.

The Gardener

Every time I see a flower, I think of my dad.Whether it is at the shore with the landscaping that captures my eye, or Phipps Conservatory, or the mountain laurel I see on my mountain bike rides in the Laurel Highlands, I think of my dad. For as long as I can remember, my dad had a passion for growing flowers. In our basement on Siebert Road, he would have racks set up in our basement with trays of seedlings growing under artificial light. I can remember him patiently planting his Burpee seeds into the little pots filled with potting soil and vermiculite and watering carefully with MiracleGro until it was time to take the trays outside in the spring and plant his flower beds. Never did he plant anything before Memorial Day because of potential frost, but the basement was overcrowded with trays and trays of flowers grown all winter from seed.

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Being an engineer, he designed an interesting tool that consisted of a simple electric drill, a special drill bit, and a long auger. When it came time to plant, it was always a weekend affair where I would be on my hands and knees filling the drilled holes in the flower beds with a specifically instructed lineup of flora. Allyssum was the delicate front row of the beds followed by yellow and orange miniature marigolds, backed up by geraniums, and finished with petunias and giant marigolds. This was the annual lineup of planting and as the years went on, the volume of flowers increased. His hanging baskets would burst with color and the weight of the growth would strain the very chain on which they were hung. The same meticulous lineup appeared in the hanging baskets and half barrels supported by large clay pots. Marigolds, geraniums, allyssum, and petunias always made up the pots and baskets with vining lantana that eventually cascaded out of the baskets and pots onto the ground. Watering with MiracleGro was the secret to healthy flowers and my dad used boxes and boxes of this plant food all summer long. IMG_0932

I was always the cheap labor- again, strong back weak mind that assisted with the planting weekend as well as taking care of the watering duties when my folks were away. When we moved to Wexford, my dad built a Lord and Burnham greenhouse where he really stepped it up. My duties as the watering guy were carefully explained to me with different nozzles for different trays of flowers but this is where I was different from my dad. My dad had patience where I was always anxious to get to some event and was always in a hurry. I would run into the greenhouse when the folks were away and hose the hell out of that greenhouse with the first spray nozzle I could find. I was careful not to break any seedlings for fear of ruining all of my dad’s meticulous and careful planting, but I did not take the time that he did switching nozzles to match the delicateness of the plants in his care. It was amazing to me to see his patience in the winter down in that greenhouse. The snow gently falling on the roof with my dad inside carefully watering each plant, in each little pot, in rows and rows of trays with suspended artificial lighting. IMG_0124

There were setbacks along the way and things were not always….”rosy”. Like the time that my dad planted tulips that bloomed like a Dutch garden in the spring. For one day, all the tulips radiated gorgeous color in the sunshine and the next morning they blooms were all gone due to the feasting of the local deer population. I rarely saw my dad angry but that morning, he was ready to strangle the deer bare handed. Another time, he was away and asked if I would carefully pinch off the dead blooms from the daffodils that he planted and I had the brilliant idea to attack the job with a weed wacker. The result was not pretty and my dad was none too happy. You see, patience in not one of my strong suits when it comes to gardening. Perhaps that is why I leave that to my wife and I simply admire the result. IMG_0134

I observed a lot of things about my dad over the years. His patience amazed me with his true passionate hobby of growing flowers. He was a big guy and to see him carefully planting tiny seeds for hours on winter nights, was insightful to his personality. Most people who have hobbies are people who are patient and gain great joy from the effort it takes to build a model airplane, create a candlestick on a lathe, or some other pursuit that takes time and effort along with a lot of patience and love. The result of the effort brings satisfaction to those who create, and appreciation from someone like me who loves to look at flowers due to the example of the efforts of my father. IMG_0930

I will never have his patience for a hobby. Most of my passions lie in outdoor activities. I always say that I am too nervous and jerky for a hobby. But I certainly admire those who pursue those passions and encourage anyone who takes the time and effort to create. Take the time to stop and smell the roses………I do. Thanks for reading.

Moving Mania

It is said that the only constant in life is change. This has been a lesson to me over the last number of years because as I search for constant, stress free living, change always seems to come my way and I am not comfortable with it all the time. Sometimes I just have to deal with it. I have favorite shirts, shorts, ski outfits, cycling attire, socks, trails, slopes,and food. These things I can control to a degree, but life in general has change and patience is not one of my strong suits.

Take moving for instance.photo (1) My mother in law moved in with us recently and that has been a positive experience but the caveat was that we needed to move in order to provide a nice, comfortable living space for her with her own bathroom, bedroom, etc. Sharing a bathroom with our 21 year old son was not optimal when one is used to coming from a nice house and 40 year old style of comfortable living. I resisted at first. I don’t like change. I liked my house and my fireplace. IMG_0776 I didn’t want to move because I know all the hassle of moving. Packing and unpacking, changing addresses, changing information, banks, real estate paperwork, etc, etc. Moving is painful.. I have personally moved so many people in my day that I can’t even count. I remember the brutal moves. Moving my wife’s friend on January 1st in the freezing rain. The first box out of the house I slipped and sprained my ankle. Hobbling for the rest of the move, my ankle looked like a basketball. I jammed it into a ski boot the next day but that is another story.

I moved my sister in and out of school, to NYC, to Maryland, to N.J. I moved my parents numerous times but all of this aggravation was due to the fact that I had a strong back and a weak mind. I was always there for the physical labor of it all. But now in my older years, I protect my strong back. So, we found a place right around the corner that has more room, no maintenance because it is a carriage home, and a pool. The style of living has been an upgrade but the move was still a whirlwind of labor, trips to Goodwill, boxes, selling and buying a house on the same day, moving companies, U-Hauls, address changes, banks, real estate……….on and on and on!!!

I am amazed at how it all came into place. What seemed to be an insurmountable task, is now like I have lived there for 20 years. My wife and mother in law worked tirelessly to make it happen and my strong back and weak mind filled in the gaps. So I have learned a lesson here in the fourth quarter. Nothing is constant but the rewards of putting up with the hassle to make a better style of living is something that I had to recognize. My wife was right! She always makes the right decisions in spite of her curmudgeon husband who tries to control change. Sometimes things seem like they are impossible and will never come together. Moving is a prime example. But with experience, one realizes that if you take it one day at a time, have patience, and a willingness to change, things always seem to work out for the better. It is easy to become inflexible as we age. But the maintenance of a youthful outlook on life is important as we …………move on. Thanks for reading.

The Tribe

I am reading an interesting book by Dr. David J. Rothman called,” Living the Life- Tales from America’s Mountains and Ski Towns”. I thought it was going to be some fun stories about the ski life but it has turned out to be so much more in the description of the lifestyle of the sports that we are all passionate about. Dr. Rothman suggests that there was a certain “cause and effect” that took place when we realize that something that we were attracted to as an outdoor activity became a passion. The resulting experiences and stories are shared by a group of people that are communities in effect and we understand the stories that we tell about ourselves.

I remember coming back from Tuckerman Ravine2013-02-05-the-bowl one year and telling my folks about the steepness of the skiing and the ice block avalanches and the weather and the total experience of being in the mountains in it’s most raw state, and my mother’s response was, ” That’s nice dear- would you like some more potatoes.” Not my mom’s fault but she just didn’t get it or appreciate it. But the Tribe does. That is what Dr. Rothman so eloquently describes in his book and what I am about to describe here to you.

There are groups of people who I call fans. They are football fans, baseball fans and many of them have played the sport but most of them are fans of a sport in which others perform. In sports like skiing,mountain biking and snowboarding, there are groups that are formed and friendships made that last a lifetime. IMG_0803 These groups also merge into what I call ” The Tribe” which is a gathering of many groups celebrating the passions of these activities. The gathering of the Tribe can take place at a mountain bike festival, a race, or at the bottom of the slopes in the springtime for instance at a ski area where folks are celebrating the weather, the friendships, and the stories around a beer and a burger on a sun splashed deck.

If you are not involved in a group or a Tribe of people, chances are you will be lost in the conversations of the Tribe. ” Hey- did you see that endo that Joe did over the bars into the creek with all that splooge on his face?” ” Hey- did you see Mike ski down that couloir with rocks on every side?” ” I looked down that couloir and had to really think about that first turn.” ” How about that climb out of the canyon?” ” How about that rock strewn singletrack with the slimy root section- hairy wasn’t it?” These are the types of conversations that infuse the gathering of the Tribe at a festival, race, or ski area. IMG_0723

The disappointing thing about being with the Tribe of your peers, is that when you come back to work, or home and try to recreate the vibe of that weekend or time spent with the Tribe, you cannot adequately describe it. But the cause and effect and the passion that resulted in the decision to join a group and the several times a year gathering of the Tribe, is necessary because these are the people who are ” your people.” Nothing against your co-workers, family, friends who may not participate but there is nothing like the feeling of when the Tribe gathers and the stories begin at the end of the day around a campfire or an outdoor deck. IMG_0811

Recently the local mountain bike tribe gathered in the Laurel Highlands for a celebratory ride for a birthday of a friend. A whole cadre of folks came out representing many groups of riders all there to celebrate the big day of one of our own. Elaine Tierney, of Mountain Bike Hall of Fame and Dirt Rag Magazine notoriety, said it best when she was amazed at the gathering of different age groups represented. Elaine remarked,” We have people riding here in their 20s, 30s, 40s 50s and 60s. All age groups riding together and enjoying all that the mountains and the friendships have to offer. Age means nothing when you are passionately involved in a sport like mountain biking, skiing, or snowboarding. So, I always encourage older folks not to shy away from an activity because they think they are too old. There is a group for you and also a Tribe who will welcome you with a smile, a beer, and conversation that you can understand once you are a member. Thanks for reading. Be a follower of the blog

Paddy the Cop

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I am proud of my Irish heritage. I rode my bicycle through Ireland years ago and marveled at the people and the countryside. Our lineage and link to the old country was through my great grandfather on my mother’s side. His name was Patrick Carroll and this is a little story about him.

Patrick emigrated to America around the turn of the 20th century and settled in the North Side of Pittsburgh. Paddy - Copy He built the first house on Stayton Street and it still stands today although a little disheveled from the original appearance. IMG_0922

Patrick became a police officer for the City of Pittsburgh and basically was a beat cop whose jurisdiction was the Marshall/Shadeland area and Woods Run. He was a good cop and raised his family with the same values as he adhered to as a police officer. When you walk the beat, you get to know the people. As I heard it told from my mother and grandmother, Paddy would rattle the fences of houses with his night stick to alert the kids that it was time to go inside. He would see the local guys moving moonshine out of their automobile trunks during prohibition and rap the fenders and tell the guys to keep that business off the street. He left the bigger bootleggers to the Feds, but the local guys trying to make a buck, he looked the other way as long as they did not abuse the privilege. He greeted the ladies with respect and looked after the local businesses on his daily rounds. In short, he was a good cop and looked after the neighborhood. My grandmother told stories about people coming to the house and delivering food and other treats for Paddy Carroll for some favor that he had done for them or for just being attentive to their business or family. This is the way it was back in the day. 86503e7dd09776ce6c0018c1e1c18336

He ended up with a house full too. His wife died at an early age and my grandmother basically ran the house for him and his two sons. My grandfather Jack Reynolds eventually married my grandmother and moved in to the house on Stayton Street. So the house was full of guys with my grandmother cooking and cleaning for the lot. Unknown to Paddy Carroll my grandfather was making gin in the bathtub upstairs in the attic and after prohibition, he switched to beer. Paddy kept an eye on things and when Grandpap Reynolds found out that Paddy was counting the beers in the cases in the basement, he would save the caps,and fill the bottles with water. Paddy would remark that Johnnie was cutting back. My grandfather would chuckle and continue the charade until he stopped drinking around the time when I was a little kid.

At that time, the neighborhood was filled with hard working, blue collar folks trying to raise their families and getting by. Patrick Carroll was a friend to the neighborhood and in reality, he was the patron of the Woods Run and Marshall/Shadeland area. Things have changed a bit in the neighborhood and these days, there are shootings, drugs, violence and other happenings that make the old neighborhood a menacing place to live sometimes. Paddy the Cop would be saddened at the condition of his home, but as life progresses, things change sometimes for the better, sometimes for the worse.

It is said about history that you don’t know where you are going if you don’t know where you have been. Perhaps we all could take a lesson from Paddy the Cop’s page when we look back and see how he managed the neighborhood and his job. It is a lot more complicated today with the complexity of crime and poverty. However,without deference to any race, heritage, or social status, Paddy took care of the neighborhood and the neighborhood took care of Paddy. Just sayin. Thanks for reading. IMG_0923